Malcom Brown

Saints To Sign DT Malcom Brown

The Saints are signing defensive tackle Malcom Brown to a three-year deal worth up to $15MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Ben Volin of the Boston Globe provides additional details, reporting that while Brown’s contract maxes out at $15MM, it’s really a two-year, $10MM pact for all intents and purposes (Twitter link). Brown is guaranteed $7.5MM and will earn $5.5MM in 2019 and $4.5MM in 2020. It’s a solid deal for the Saints, who are adding a former first-round pick to the defensive line.

Brown, 25, started in 51 of his 60 games for the Patriots, including 14 starts last season. This past year, he did not record any sacks, but he was on the field for just 279 pass snaps. In the previous three seasons, Brown managed 8.5 sacks from the interior.

Heading into this week, defensive tackle was a huge need for the Saints. With the Brown deal, they’ve managed to partially fill that gap at a reasonable rate. Sheldon Rankins will serve as the team’s top DT, but questions remain about him, Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata. Rankins suffered a torn Achilles in the NFC title game, Davison is in free agent limbo, and Onyemata may face a suspension after a citation for marijuana possession.

The Patriots, meanwhile, replaced Brown by signing former Jets defensive lineman Mike Pennel for half the price. Pennel’s work in 2018 garnered favorable reviews from the advanced metrics, and he should have an opportunity for an increased workload with New England.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Decline Options For Brown, Dorsett

The Patriots had to make the call on three players with fifth-year options for the 2019 season. They have declined all three of them. 

[RELATED: Patriots Decline Danny Shelton’s Option]

In addition to turning down the option for defensive tackle Danny Shelton, the Pats have also declined an extra season for defensive tackle Malcom Brown and wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Turning down Dorsett was something of a no-brainer and Shelton was something of a 50/50 proposition, but the decision to decline Brown’s option comes as a surprise.

Brown, the final pick in the first round of the ’15 draft, would have earned $7.154MM had his option been exercised. The Patriots may look to hammer out an extension to keep him in the fold beyond 2018, but it would likely be at a lesser rate per season. The 24-year-old defensive tackle has started in 37 of his 45 games for the Pats over the last three seasons. In that time, he has managed 8.5 sacks from the interior. In each of the last two seasons, he graded out as a top-32 player at the defensive tackle position, per Pro Football Focus.

The Patriots are known for crafty cap maneuvering, so they could be eyeing cheaper replacements in 2019 for their young defensive tackles. They would also stand to gain compensatory picks by losing either player to free agency after the 2018 season.

The option on Dorsett, 25, would have cost New England nearly $9.4MM in 2019. After Dorsett played sparingly in 2017 and amassed just 194 receiving yards, the team gave no real thought to extending him through 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Raiders, Carr, Bills, Pats, Rowe

The latest from around the NFL as Christmas Day comes to a close:

  • Although the Raiders wanted quarterback Derek Carr to undergo surgery for his broken fibula today, that operation was unlikely to take place on Christmas Day because Oakland wants to use the best surgeons available, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Most of those doctors were likely occupied due to the holiday, so the Raiders want to wait and secure the best crew before putting Carr under the knife. However, the operation will apparently take place in the very near future. Any chance Carr has of returning for a postseason run would clearly be aided by quick surgery and recovery.
  • While a Rex Ryan firing is a “near-certainty,” Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that Bills‘ general manager Doug Whaley‘s status remains up in the air. The Bills could finish with a .500-or-better record in consecutive seasons for the first time since Wade Phillips’ 1999-2000 stretch, but the Ryan era has produced major turmoil and seen the Buffalo defense regress considerably from the Jim Schwartz season in 2014. The 2015 Bills ranked 19th in total defense, and the ’16 version sits there as well. While not horrendous, Jay Ajayi‘s monster day to eliminate the Bills notwithstanding, it’s well off the pace of 2014, when the team ranked fourth defensively.
  • Patriots defensive tackle Malcom Brown was demoted during Saturday’s game against the Jets because he was late for a meeting last week, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com. Head coach Bill Belichick has dealt harshly with tardiness in the past, but Reiss notes that Brown is valued as a mature player who likely just made an “honest mistake.” Brown, a 2015, first-round pick, has started 13 games this season.
  • Under the terms of the trade that sent cornerback Eric Rowe from the Eagles to the Patriots earlier this year, New England will be forced to ship a 2018 third-round pick to Philadelphia if Rowe plays in 50% of the Patriots’ snaps in either 2016 or 2017. Rowe won’t meet that mark this season, per Reiss, although Rowe could still reach that threshold next year. If he doesn’t, New England will only be required to send a 2018 fourth-rounder to Philly.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Malcom Brown, Patriots Agree To Terms

The Patriots have reached an agreement on a rookie contract with first-round defensive tackle Malcom Brown, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). The deal ensures that second overall pick Marcus Mariota is the only first-round pick who remains unsigned.

According to one post-draft report, the Patriots were very open to trading the 32nd overall pick, but opted to keep it when they didn’t the return they wanted. In fact, one erroneous report on draft night suggested that New England had agreed to move the pick, but landing Brown at No. 32 viewed as a good value, and a nice fit for the team.

Per Over The Cap, Brown’s four-year pact with the Patriots features a signing bonus worth about $3.797MM, and a four-year value of approximately $7.613MM. Landon Collins, the 33rd overall pick, agreed to terms earlier today and received a signing bonus worth about $1MM less than Brown’s, so the former Texas Longhorn was fortunate to be a first-rounder. Coming off the board in the first round means his contract will also include a fifth-year option for 2019.

The Patriots have now locked up all 11 of their draft picks, becoming the 29th of 32 NFL teams to finish signing their draftees. Only the Titans, Colts, and Raiders still have picks to sign.

Draft Notes: Vikings, Rams, Patriots, Bears

The Vikings could have an exciting offense next season, and that’s because the front office dedicated last year’s draft picks to improving their team on that side of the ball. Although the organization had acquired some foundational players, including quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, head coach Mike Zimmer said his team was still considering offensive weapons in the first round of this year’s draft. Via Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune

“The Teddy thing was huge because that was really the number one priority of the organization. We had to get a quarterback we thought could take us to the next level. Honestly, we didn’t go into this draft saying this was going to be a defensive draft. We went in and we had offensive guys targeted, but they might have gotten picked before we could pick them.

When we picked Trae Waynes, there were three or four guys there we thought we would be happy with, but part of it with Trae was the position he plays. Typically when you draft those corners, you draft pretty high. Once it gets down lower, to the second round, they don’t produce like the higher picks. Knock on wood — we hope we’re drafting a little lower next year.”

Let’s take a look at some more draft notes from around the NFL…

  • The Rams were involved in the bidding for undrafted free agent La’el Collins, head coach Jeff Fisher told ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner“Yeah, we were involved in it,” Fisher said. “There were some things, we still had some unanswered questions at the time in which he made his decision but we were involved. We were told by them that we were in the final four, which is not necessarily a consolation but we were involved, yes.”
  • Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck contacted Collins to recruit him to their respective teams, tweets Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez. The reporter adds that the lineman seriously considered the Dolphins‘ pitch.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Patriots would have willingly traded their first-rounder if an inquiring team had sweetened their offer. Ideally, the Patriots would have preferred an early second-round pick and a third-round pick in return. Reiss clarifies that the team is still please with their selection of Malcom Brown.
  • The Bears had been eyeing quarterback Shane Carden during the draft, and ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson writes that the team was thrilled about the opportunity to sign the player as an undrafted free agent. “He was actually a guy that we had good grades on, a guy that could have potentially been a draft pick,” Bears coach John Fox told Dickerson. “Our scouts, obviously, saw a lot more of him than the coaching staff. But he was productive, smart. He has good moxie, being able to execute in a pass offense that throws the ball quite a bit and was very productive.”

AFC Draft Notes: Pats, Browns, Chargers, Titans

The Patriots have had a number of successful drafts during Bill Belichick‘s tenure, but Malcom Brown is confident he’ll be regarded as one of the best picks in team history.

Following the Patriots’ selection of the hulking defensive lineman last night, the University of Texas standout expressed his confidence to reporters (including Phil Perry of CSNNE.com):

“Ya’ll about to get the best player ya’ll have ever drafted so just be ready for when I touch the field.”

Of course, that may be a bit of an overstatement, especially since the team stole future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round. However, Brady made similar comments following the 2000 draft (also via Perry):

“I’m the best decision this organization has ever made.”

Let’s take a look at some more draft notes out of the AFC…

  • Browns GM Ray Farmer denied trying to move up to the No. 2 pick for quarterback Marcus Mariota, as Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “No, no, no,” Farmer said. “Again, I’ve tried to tell people without telling them specifically, but the answer is no. There were no conversations of trading.”
  • The Chargers traded up to No. 15 because Melvin Gordon was the last of seven “impact players” left on their board, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego writes.
  • Meanwhile, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco told reporters (including Michael Gehlken of UTSanDiego.com) that he’s open to trading down either Friday or Saturday.
  • ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini examines some possible targets for the Jets on the second day of the draft. Among the possibilities are Virginia outside linebacker Eli Harold and Ohio State wideout Devin Smith.
  • The Titans like Dorial Green-Beckham, and Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com says he wouldn’t be “shocked” if the team selects the wideout with the 33rd pick (via Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Lions, Saints, 49ers, Cowboys

Earlier tonight, we rounded up a few leftover draft-related items out of the AFC. Now let’s shift our focus to the other conference and pass along some NFC notes….

  • The Lions had three offers to trade back, GM Martin Mayhew tells Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (Twitter link), but the Broncos’ decision to offer Manny Ramirez helped Detroit make its decision.
  • Had Andrus Peat not been available to the Saints, they would have been fine with choosing Danny Shelton, says head coach Sean Payton (Twitter link via Sean Fazende of FOX 8).
  • The 49ers had several options in the first round, as GM Trent Baalke tells Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter) that there were still five or six prospects the team “coveted” when the No. 15 pick rolled around. As such, it made sense for the Niners to move back a little.
  • The Cowboys would’ve thought hard about trading down had Byron Jones not been available, says Dallas exec Stephen Jones (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). Jones says the club had a couple other players who were in play at the back end of the first round.
  • Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown was still on the board when the Patriots grabbed him with the last pick of the first round, and it sounds like Brown himself thought he’d be picked sooner — according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link), the newest Pat was told he could have gone as high as No. 7 to the Bears.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Pats Keep Pick, Draft Malcom Brown

10:05pm: Despite reports that the Patriots had traded the No. 32 pick to the Texans, New England has kept the pick and drafted Texas defensive lineman Malcom Brown, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). Brown was considered by some as the best prospect left on the board.

The Patriots have a history of trading down, so it’s a little surprising that they did keep the pick. Brown will add another dimension to their offensive line, however, joining 2014 first-rounder Dominique Easley to attempt to make up for the loss of Vince Wilfork.

9:50pm: The Texans have acquired the No. 32 pick from the Patriots, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe (Twitter links).

East Links: Cowboys, Eagles, Bills, Pats

With the NFL having reinstated Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on Thursday, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News compared a possible Peterson trade to the famous Herschel Walker deal that Minnesota and Dallas made 26 years ago. The 30-year-old Peterson’s future in Minnesota is nebulous and the Cowboys are in need of a star-caliber rusher after losing DeMarco Murray to free agency earlier this offseason, which has led to speculation that Peterson might end up in Dallas. Despite Peterson’s off-field troubles and his lack of enthusiasm toward continuing his career as a Viking, Gosselin doesn’t believe it would make sense for the team to let him the six-time Pro Bowler go. However, if the Vikings do elect to move on via trade and the Cowboys come knocking, Gosselin expects that Dallas would have to give up plenty to acquire Peterson.

Here’s more from the league’s two East divisions:

  • Although Mychal Kendricks has been a standout linebacker during his three years with the Eagles, the presence of two other ILBs – Kiko Alonso and DeMeco Ryans – and the possibility of another on the way via the upcoming draft could render him superfluous to the team’s roster, per Andrew Kulp of CSNPhilly.com. Kulp believes Kendricks, who is entering the final year of his deal and hasn’t discussed an extension with the Eagles, could be dealt prior to the draft.
  • Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin‘s days in a Bills uniform may be numbered, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Goodwin might end up the odd man out after Buffalo’s acquisition of Percy Harvin, whom it signed in free agency. The Bills used a 2013 third-round pick on Goodwin, who has appeared in 22 games in two seasons and caught just 18 passes. He had a meager one reception last year.
  • The guard-needy Giants haven’t addressed the position in the first round of the draft since 1974, when they selected eventual bust John Hicks. Now might be the time for the team to break the 41-year drought, writes Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. The Giants hold the ninth overall pick, where Iowa’s Brandon Scherff could be a tempting option.
  • Judy Cohen of WEEI profiled Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown, who is a potential fit for the Patriots in the first round of the draft.

Malcom Brown To Enter Draft

Texas junior defensive tackle Malcom Brown has elected to enter the 2015 NFL draft, he told coach Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong (Twitter link via the Longhorn Network). Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net had reported last month that Brown was leaning heavily toward forgoing his final year of NCAA eligibility and turning pro.

In his third season at Texas, Brown compiled 69 tackles, and led the defense with 6.5 sacks and 14 tackles for a loss. He was a consensus All-American, as well as ESPN’s Big 12 defensive player of the year.

The 2015 draft class figures to see a number of defensive tackles come off the board early, with Brown expected to be a first-round pick. CBSSports.com ranks him as the fourth-best defensive tackle in the class, and the No. 25 overall prospect. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Todd McShay praises Brown’s motor and versatility, projecting him to come off the board with the 22nd overall pick.